N.C. Democratic Black caucus to boycott annual party convention Juneteenth weekend 

Former North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, the party's nominee in November's U.S. Senate race, is scheduled to speak on Saturday.

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This weekend, the African American Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party will be boycotting the party’s annual convention, claiming that the events disregard the observance of Juneteenth as well as Father’s Day. 

According to WRAL, in a Wednesday news release, caucus leadership stated, “The NCDP did not consider its magnitude of disregard with their mandate of in-person (full day and into-the-evening) meetings. The AAC is officially boycotting the NCDP State Convention, [State Executive Committee] and Unity Dinner for Saturday, June 18th.”

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Cheri Beasley will speak Saturday at a reception and fundraising dinner at the North Carolina Democratic Party’s annual state convention in Durham, North Carolina, which the African American Caucus is boycotting because it falls on Juneteenth and Father’s Day weekend. (Photo: Andrew Craft/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Juneteenth is named for the date June 19, 1865, which is when troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to ensure that enslaved people were freed, more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The holiday was reserved as a federal holiday in 2021. 

Colette Alston, president of the caucus, spoke about the all-day Saturday schedule in a phone interview and mentioned how it may be the first chance many people have to celebrate the holiday this year due to the pandemic. She also said the required attendance in Durham for party business “did not sit too well” with its members.

The caucus currently has between 300 and 500 people.

One of the founding members of the African American Caucus, former state Rep. Bobbie Richardson, did not address the boycott in a statement also released on Wednesday, but said those attending the convention “will honor and celebrate Sunday’s Juneteenth holiday as we conduct the business of the party.” 

The NCDP will still hold its convention, reception and fundraising dinner on Saturday, where Gov. Roy Cooper and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, the party’s nominee in the 2022 U.S. Senate race, are scheduled to speak.

“We look forward to gathering with folks from across the state,” said Richardson, “to continue the work to elect diverse candidates up and down the ticket this November.”

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